Elsewhere online
April 29, 2016

Donor-Backed Scalia Honor Fuels Uproar at George Mason U.

Some George Mason University faculty are protesting the Northern Virginia institution’s plan to rename its law school for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the behest of a $20 million donor, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal write.

The university’s faculty senate is weighing whether to take a formal stand against the proposal, which has cast a spotlight on George Mason’s emergence as a center for conservative legal and economic scholarship with financial backing from billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Charles Koch gave $10 million to Mason last month at the same time as the anonymous contributor who sought the Scalia honor.

Critics, notably social sciences and humanities professors but also including some law-school students and alumni, contend that naming the school for Mr. Scalia, a leader of the court’s conservative wing who took controversial stands on race and gender issues, is inappropriate for a public university. The change, which would have to be approved by a state higher-education board, is largely backed by faculty at the now-named Antonin Scalia Law School.